As a vintage clothing lover I have followed the progress of Lucy in Disguise ever since they started out in 2010, especially because the owners of the brand, sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, have created something unique and manage to source the most beautiful pieces.
As well as their online website Lucy in Disguise offers rails of gorgeous items from the 20s right through to the 90s in their Soho Boutique – there’s also a parlour where you can have your hair and make up styled and they offer ” Events Space ” if you’re looking to hold a truly vintage party.
Your Drama Parlour sounds fantastic – what does it offer ?
When we started LiD we really wanted to re – create that experience of getting ready for a big night out at home with your friends, and so it was always part of the plan to have an in store salon where you could complete your look with hair and make up. When I heard that Vicky, who runs the Drama Parlour, was looking for a space for her salon, I knew her team would be the perfect addition to the family. I’ve known Vicky for years and as well as being a fab hairdresser she very much shared my vision for creating a cool environment with good people, good music and good vibes. The Drama Parlour offers contemporary cut and colour, vintage styling and make up looks created by top make up artists.
You stock your own brand of candles amongst other things – what inspired the scents you have chosen ?
We worked together with an amazing scent designer, Azzi Glasser, to come up with the scents. We have three different scents – Rose, Sequoia wood and Fig which are all very different but really represents the diversity of our Lucy customers as they range from a very classical floral scent ( Rose ) to a more subtle one ( Sequoia Wood ) to a punchy, fruity scent ( fig ).
What would you say, differentiates your store from other vintage clothing shops ?
The key thing that makes our store different from your typical vintage shop is that we are extremely particular about our edit and in the way we merchandise our stock. We hand pick each item rather than buying in bulk and consequently we believe every single item on our rails is amazing. We didn’t want it to be the type of shop you had to rummage through rails crammed full of okay clothes to find that one brilliant piece. Its a shop for the busy, modern shopper who might not necessarily have the time to hunt for a good bit of vintage, rather our customer expects to come into our store and find everything cleaned and displayed beautifully with one to one assistance to help them find that perfect piece.
Is there an era or Designer that is most popular with your clothing ? Which is your favourite ?
The 60s is consistently a favourite, but we definitely notice how catwalk trends affect what eras people are looking for. The single most asked for item is a bias cut 30s dress similar to the green silk one Kiera Knightley wore in atonement.
When you are sourcing your vintage pieces – how on earth do you keep focused and choose what is right for your store ?
The buying is the best bit ! It’s so exciting ! When you come across a good haul that you know your customers will love there really is no better feeling. I shop in many different ways – sometimes I’m focused on finding a particular item, other times I’m simply on a treasure hunt. I usually keep one eye on the trends and seasons of the moment, but I’m not bound by it, after all, vintage by its very nature is timeless, so if I see a good quality or unique piece at a good price I will snap it up no matter what time of year or whats going on in the contemporary clothes marketplace.
I don’t really notice any one era being particularly underrated. I do find though that people tend to not be so keen on the era they were a teenager in; my mother hates 70s fashion, my grandmother shuns the 40s and instead loves the glamour of the 50s, I’m not as in love with the 90’s as the rest of the world seems to be right now. I would put this down to teenage hood being when we start to experiment with fashion, consequently making a few fashion mistakes along the way and when we get to our twenties and are a little bit more settled in terms of the way we dress, we would rather forget the experimental years that preceded it.
Can you tell me what plans you have for Lucy in Disguise ?
The next 12 months for us will be focused on expanding our online business. Our e – comm shop is still very young and we’re learning more and more about it everyday. Its so important in todays marketplace to have a strong online presence, and this is no less true for us than anyone else. We’ll definitely do another Lucy in Disguise range in the future and also have plans to delve further into the beauty world, but you’ll just have to watch this space on that one !
Thanks Sarah, looking forward to it. :)
You can follow Lucy in Disguise London on twitter @lucyin_Disguise and become a fan on facebook. If you want to have a look at their online vintage clothing, book an appointment in the Drama Parlour or enquire about Event Space – go to www.lucyindisguiselondon.com.
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All images copyright Lucy in Disguise London 2013.